Ultimate Guide to the EDSA Free WiFi (Phase 1) » Manila Bulletin Technology

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By: Robert ‘Bob’ Reyes

On the occasion of our country’s 119th Independence Day celebration last Monday, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) led the inauguration of the “EDSA WiFi” project for commuters along EDSA. The project is in line with DICT’s mandate to foster connectivity and improve public access to the Internet. The department also said that they wish to promote telecommuting to boost productivity while stuck in traffic or waiting for the next train to arrive.

 

The EDSA WiFi will make high-speed Internet connectivity available at street level throughout the whole 24-kilometer stretch of Metro Manila’s thoroughfare. The project includes all 13 stations of the MRT Line 3, from Taft Avenue in Pasay City to North Avenue in Quezon City. To ensure the availability and resilience of the free public WiFi service, the DICT has tapped the facilities of the country’s largest ISP’s: PLDT and Globe Telecom.

 

“This public WiFi offering is a gift to the people of this free nation. We work to give Filipinos access to the information and technology that they need in their daily live. EDSA WiFi will benefit the hundreds of thousands of commuters along EDSA daily,” said DICT Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima during the launch ceremonies held at the MRT3 Shaw Boulevard Station.

 

But, even before the official launch of the EDSA WiFi project last Monday, different press releases from the two major telcos have been circulating the interwebs. This created some sort of confusion to some, as different Internet speeds, data cap and number of free minutes had been reported.

 

To address the confusion, I created the table below to serve as an ultimate guide for the first phase of the EDSA WiFi project. In essence, there are three (03) available APN’s for the general public to connect with. Both Smart and Globe are time-based without data cap, while the DICT connection gives the unlimited number of minutes but only up to 100MB of data bandwidth allocated per user (device) daily. So, it is possible for one to use the Smart APN first (for example), then once the 30 minutes allocation is done, he/she may connect with the Globe APN. Once the Globe APN connection is also maxed out, one may opt to use the DICT APN and enjoy 100MB of data connection via WiFi for free.

 

* The Smart WiFi service lets you extend your free 30-minute session per day by purchasing Smart WiFi load from partner retailers or by converting your Smart, Sun, or TNT load to Smart WiFi minutes using WIFI10, WIFI20 or WIFI50 keywords sent to 99912.

** Globe/TM customers and other networks can avail of a GoWiFi Promo to continue their browsing by connecting to a @GoWiFi_Auto APN once the free minutes are up. Service can be paid using prepaid load, charged to a postpaid bill, credit card or via the Request-a-Fi feature. GoWiFi Auto currently gives a FREE 3-day trial period for new service users, valid until 31 August 2017.

 

 

The first stage of the EDSA WiFi project will cover all 13 MRT3 Stations and the continuous stretch of EDSA from Guadalupe to Cubao at street level. The second stage will cover EDSA from Cubao to North Avenue and from Guadalupe to Taft Avenue, which will be operational before the President’s SONA on July 24th.

 

I will conduct a station-by-station internet speed test in the coming days (after the MRT3 finishes their wheel axle checkup). Watch out for that.



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